Govt warns against Azadi, anti-India slogans during Muharram processions

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Srinagar: The administration of Jammu and Kashmir warned strict action against mourners who raise pro-freedom and anti-India slogans during Muharram processions in Kashmir.

Divisional Commissioner Kashmir Pandurang K Pole said that restrictions shall continue on all religious processions and gatherings in all districts, an official spokesperson said.

“The Div Com said that in the last few instances some anti-national elements tried to give different directions to a purely religious matter, which has been viewed seriously and all such elements shall be dealt strictly under the law,” he said.

The warning comes days after police booked youth under UAPA for their alleged involvement in chanting pro-freedom slogans during a Muharram procession in Hokersar area of the city outskirts.

For the last two days Muharram processions turned have into pro-freedom rallies, after police used tear smoke shells and fired in the air to disperse them in Budgam and Srinagar. Officials had claimed that the force was used as the people had violated SOPs and taken out the Muharram processions.

According to an official spokesperson, the meeting was attended by Deputy Commissioners Srinagar and Budgam, Shahid Iqbal Choudhary, Shahbaz Mirza, SSP Srinagar, Haseeb Mughal, Joint Commissioner SMC, some Shia community leaders, including Secretary Abid Hussain Ansari of Shia Association,  Aga Syed Muntazir, of Anjumane Sharie Shiayan and representatives from other parties.

During the meeting, the official spokesperson said Shia organisations extended their full support to the administration with assurance that no procession or any other outside gathering shall be conducted during these days.

He said that the Div Com sought support from these religious bodies and urged them to sensitize people about avoiding all religious processions/ gatherings in wake of Covid-19.

“He urged the heads of these bodies to use their influence and aware people about the importance of following Covid-19 related SOPs including social distancing protocol and use of face masks while commemorating martyrdom of Imam Hussain A.S and other martyrs of Karbala,” the official spokesperson said.

“He appealed to people to show their cooperation at this juncture as Covid-19 cases were on rise in Kashmir and any carelessness can prove disastrous for the entire society,” he added.

The official spokesperson further said that during the meeting, the representatives raised various issues with the Div Com and demanded prompt resolution.

“The Div Com instructed all DCs and SSPs to cooperate and extend their support to people for hassle-free holding of majalis,” he said, adding “He also directed to developmental departments to carry out necessary works and ensure uninterrupted power and potable water supply besides speedy completion of lane and drain works in all Shia dominated areas.

 

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